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[MOD] PS:T Unfinished Business - Reloaded

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Comments

  • bob_vengbob_veng Member Posts: 2,207
    give us examples, dump all of the text here or in another thread ideally, and we will review it together

    lujoQueegon
  • rede9rede9 Member, Translator (NDA) Posts: 1,790
    lujo said:

    Canzah said:

    lujo said:

    Ok, I did the Deionarra thing in the end. The writing is really, really bad. The plot is... the whole Undersigil part is bad... but the basic premise is really, really good. It also looks at times as if it was written by a non-native english speaker, although I might be wrong on that.

    I could improve this a lot, if you're interested.

    Please keep your fanfiction out of this.
    The writing in question IS fan-fiction, very visibly so. That's why I said it was bad, because it is. Some of it is wrong in tone, some of it misinterprets game elements, some of the word choices are inexperienced to say the least, and the paragraph structure can be painful. I'm not even sure it was written by an English native speaker.

    Most of it is dialogue by a modder, and I copy-edit for a living so to me it's not very controversial to say I could improve text when I see it. I get paid to do this daily. I wouldn't say I could improve Avelone's dialogues, but there's McComb's ones any decent and experienced editor could improve. And yes, I can somewhat reliably tell who wrote what in the game.

    Whoever wrote this mod wasn't as good as them. It's written badly enough that I'm glad it's not an-autoinstall in the pack, because in the state it is I wouldn't install it next time.

    Would to involve Avellone be possible?

  • bob_vengbob_veng Member Posts: 2,207
    maybe, who knows? i think that if the community makes a well-developed and well-revised draft of the text, probably we could petition julius or some other blue guy to look into the possibility. it's best if we make a really good attempt ourselves and send it up for another pass. that would be really cool.

    lujo
  • argent77argent77 Member Posts: 2,645
    I'm basically open to the idea of improving the dialog lines for the "Expanded Deionarra's Truth" component. It's already mostly based on new content, so you can give your creativity free rein. The dialog lines can be found in this file.

    lujo
  • lujolujo Member Posts: 236
    edited January 2018
    argent77 said:

    It's already mostly based on new content.

    I knew this which is why I let myslef be as blunt as I was. Avelone's got nothing to do with this, and the biggest problem with the mod is it's fan-fictiony nature. This can be trimmed and curbed and edited out of it. Thak you very much for being a nice, constructive and cooperative person. This is a very rare thing.

    Right, so for the diagnosis, there are problems with both the writing and the "plot" of it, let's go step by step. There's 190 strings of it, so I suppose one post won't be enough. I'll just hit the stuff that REALLY needs changing in the first pass, just give me a short while to take it apart.


  • lujolujo Member Posts: 236
    edited January 2018
    @argent77 Srry for spam, a few things:

    1) I didn't actually have the time to test the last several versions, so there might be actually useful commnets to yet receive on them.
    2) I've just got my clean-install comp back and I'm working of a huuuuge backlog of bugs and repro games, wich will take me a while to report (so I'll get to the deionarra thing by tonight, I hope)
    3) Most importantly - I've dug into Quinn's and other people's changelogs and compared them to my notes, and it's become clear that Beamdog dropped the ball on some of his actually really good and important fixes. They seem to have also ported some of his mistakes. People might be interested in the good stuff which is currently not available for EE. I'm reporting some of them as feature and bug fix requests, but if I compiled a list of them, would you be interested in whipping up an applier?

    Some of them are in the "I'm better off playing the original because these aren't here" category, sometimes sneakily so. Like:

    Quinn did the right thing and moved the Gauntlets of Teeth to Lothar (very sensible, you get them for free at a time when they're hugely overpowered otherwise) and made it possible to not screw yourself out of Mebbeth's store by accident (thus likely not having Morte have a magic weapon by god knows when if you didn't do Ingress etc etc.) I'll report this as a much needed and very, very sensible thing to apply, but in case they don't do it, would you be interested?

  • bob_vengbob_veng Member Posts: 2,207
    what's wrong with quinn's plot/story additions according to you? quinn has said that he received a go-ahead from avellone and mccomb for his resolutions of some hanging story elements. I thought that he used/reused/cannibalized the original unused lines for it, but now I see that he created a lot of dialogue himself. I think that avellone never really saw or played through the end result.

    lujo
  • lujolujo Member Posts: 236
    I'll tell you blow by blow. I'm reporting bugs now. I'm pretty sure any decent writer would have had complaints about it if they played through it. And it's public that this part was fan-fiction, that's why it's not included in the auto-install part of UB.

  • megamike15megamike15 Member Posts: 1,218
    it should have been it's own mod and not included in unfinished business. this would like if Ascension was included in bg2 ub.

  • lujolujo Member Posts: 236

    it should have been it's own mod and not included in unfinished business. this would like if Ascension was included in bg2 ub.

    It's a bit of extra on the side, and it's actually pretty good in theory, but needs trimming and editorial work in practice. It's not an auto-install. Also, whatever was done to make it should be used to re-make the actual dream sequences be full-screen.

  • argent77argent77 Member Posts: 2,645
    Just to be clear. I don't intend to make changes to the execution of the dream sequence or the dialog structure for the involved characters. However, I'm open to attempts that improve the quality of related dialog lines.

    bob_veng
  • lujolujo Member Posts: 236
    edited January 2018
    Well, I'll supply those, but the whole undersigil part make no sense. There would have been no Greater Glabrezu there for That incarnation to fight. Nor would he have been "farming undersigil". That's something gamers did.

    Also, his demeanor concerning Kessai is wrong, he was a cold extremely focused guy, Morte even says so if you're a horribly evil nameless one before you enter the fortress. That as horrible as you are you have some spirit, while that guy wasn't interested in anything and showed no emotion. The whole "wanna see my mace" - that's not The Practical Incarnation that's a random gamer douche writing fan fiction. The practical incarnation is a very different sort of asshat.

    TNO having a fight - sure, TNO telling Dream Kessai about it then reliving it, sure thing, but not in undersigil, not under that pretense and with those dialogue lines. Batoor, outlands, some other map, sure, undersigil - no.

    That's a rather major complaint. I mean, I can just work over the dialogues and improve it that way, sure, but this would be an actual improvement.

  • bob_vengbob_veng Member Posts: 2,207
    i have a feeling a lot of what you rightly point at can be significantly ameliorated with a few clever text interventions. the peering, critical way you look at it is not necessarily the way a lot of people will experience it, so it comes down to enhancing the suspension of disbelief.

  • lujolujo Member Posts: 236
    bob_veng said:

    i have a feeling a lot of what you rightly point at can be significantly ameliorated with a few clever text interventions. the peering, critical way you look at it is not necessarily the way a lot of people will experience it, so it comes down to enhancing the suspension of disbelief.

    Of course. The peering, critical way of looking at things is how the better parts of the game were written, which is why it's remembered as great. As far as just working over the dialogue - no problem there, it will take more than a little intervention, but that was the intention.

    The Undersigil just doesn't make any sense at all. Those Glabrezu are there as a result of what your later incarnation did in Sigil. You can't re-live the memories of your previous incarnation fighting them and getting something out of it because it didn't happen. Or if that happened it didn't happen there.

    And that can be fixed by having the dream fight happen somewhere else. As - is, just on a different map, and with less silly text to go along with it.

  • argent77argent77 Member Posts: 2,645
    edited January 2018
    Don't forget this is a dream. Not everything has to be consistent with the memories of the previous incarnation.

    I don't plan to change the current location, as many players wouldn't accept such a big change. Something like this can be done if someone wants to create a standalone mod out of this component.

    Post edited by argent77 on
    Aedan
  • CanzahCanzah Member Posts: 35
    I'd appreciate if nonetheless you kept this as pure as possible with how it was until now, regardless of lujo's lobbying to rewrite it with his own dose of fanfiction.

  • SoulReaverSoulReaver Member Posts: 32
    I agree with lujo that the added lines could do with some editing. There are parts that read rather clumsily.

    However, I would recommend that they not be changed too severely. Edits for tone, style, vocabulary and brevity yes, actual content perhaps not so much.

    I'd be happy to see lujo's version as long as it's done with track changes so we can see what he's changed and why.

    Also, someone asked why this was part of Unfinshed Business? If I understand right, it's because it does restore a number of lines, but those lines alone wouldn't have made sense/has much purpose without further content being added to tie them back into the game (which is what the 'expanded' version of the mod attempts to do).

    argent77
  • lujolujo Member Posts: 236
    edited January 2018
    The only thing I'd change about the actual content is the undersigil map, as in that location. It's unworkably wrong and ruins the whole thing, even if you fix all the dialogue. A fight for the mace (or, really, whatever, the mace is very phalic and unintentinally lolworthy with tracing stuff up and down it's shaft and such) - not a problem, a fight against whatever is also fine (I'd prefer a bunch of Red Abishai with boosted stats myself, but whatever is fine), just anywhere BUT Undersigil. Literally anywhere, like, complete blackness as background would be fine (more than fine, it would make a great dream), just not Greater Glabrezu in Undersigil.

    Anyway, it's 2 AM here so I'll just do a random paragraph quickly, and do the whole thing properly (and playtest it a number of times), and have a save game for you fine gentlement to peruse tommorrow or over the course of the next few days. Just a quick illustration of a hasty tweak at 2AM after a long day, before i get serious:

    @42 = ~She sighs, pondering you, then seems to come to a reluctant decision. "Perhaps I can be of help in this matter. You know that I've always been fascinated with dreams. Learning of my heritage has made me realize why. The blood of the Gray Wastes in me means I have power over dreams, though I've never used it because I never knew I possessed it. But perhaps I could use it on your behalf in this instance. Hags are known to ride men's dreams, and turn them to nightmare, and ride them to their death."~

    @42 = ~She just looks at you for a while, and when she finaly speaks you can feel her reluctance giving way: "Hags are known to ride men's dreams, turn them to nightmare and ride them to death. So I've been told, and I've been told because I've been asking questions ever since you revealed to me whose daughter I am. And my mother was the greatest of the Gray Sisters, if stories are to be believed. I... I believe I might be able to help you.~

    (Shorter, no words or phrases used incorrectly EDIT: Nope, I copy pasted a sentence which does use them wrong, less clunky, a bit less pompous (I hope, maybe still a bit too pompous), I'd still have to check if it's fan fiction, this "hags are known to ride men's dreams" bit, but it sure looks less like it. Also, I hope I made her reluctance "melt" properly from the begining of the paragraph towards the end, starting her off as talking about hags, getting her to properly call Ravel her mother once she establishes that this might, for a change, be cool and useful, and come to a conclusion/decision. She's not magicaly an expert on just what you need, but you get to see her work it out.)

    I'd have work the whole dialogue over, as you can't even tell if this paragraph conects properly to ones before and after it etc, but, well, you know, I'm quite certain I can make it a lot better.





    Post edited by lujo on
  • lujolujo Member Posts: 236
    Quick feedback/question on 2 things:


    1) The pot in Lothars' is locked. The one which is turned over and lying on the floor and has embalming fluid in it. This is silly. IDK if you did it, but just saying.
    2) If you restored the Eye of Vecna to Vrischika's shop, there's a problem. It's unidentified in the store and can be bought for very little money.

    Just in case these were UB.

  • argent77argent77 Member Posts: 2,645
    lujo said:

    Quick feedback/question on 2 things:


    1) The pot in Lothars' is locked. The one which is turned over and lying on the floor and has embalming fluid in it. This is silly. IDK if you did it, but just saying.
    2) If you restored the Eye of Vecna to Vrischika's shop, there's a problem. It's unidentified in the store and can be bought for very little money.

    Just in case these were UB.
    1) That's right. In the vanilla game this jar is locked and even guarded by a script that was probably intended to set the annoyance level for Lothar. Even better, this jar didn't contain anything. The component "Restored Lothar's Abode" adds a minor treasure to the jar and reactivates the script. I agree, that the jar being locked is quite silly. But this is Lothar's home, where anything is possible.

    2) Thanks, will be fixed. The eye is already present in Vrischika's store in the vanilla game, but uses a condition that is never met without cheating. The mod fixes this condition, and some item-related properties.

    lujo
  • lujolujo Member Posts: 236
    Another question - did you restore the Chaosmen charm which Barking Wilder can make?

    If these are Quinn's notes it says:

    // RESTORED RAT CHARM
    // Realized this was a fix and not a restoration. Put back in Fixpack PFixPack.d in v4.0.

    But since Beamdog didn't really accept everything Quinn did, and I haven't been able to make Barking Wilder make me some of these, I wonder if they're even in. If they're not, you might consider adding them to the restored items.

    Also, if you do that, they're using the same graphic as "Trice Blind Charm" - could you please, please, please, just flip that grapihc left-to-right for the charm? Items which look exactly the same as other items in a game with a ton of items are cancerous.

  • argent77argent77 Member Posts: 2,645
    I'm afraid, I can't answer your questions atm. I'm currently recovering from a hard drive crash, and the restoration process may take a couple of days.

    lujoJuliusBorisov
  • lujolujo Member Posts: 236
    Oh wow, that's awful! Sorry to bother, hope you manage to recover it all you need :(

    JuliusBorisov
  • SoulReaverSoulReaver Member Posts: 32
    argent77 said:

    I'm afraid, I can't answer your questions atm. I'm currently recovering from a hard drive crash, and the restoration process may take a couple of days.

    Good luck, I know how much that hurts...

    JuliusBorisov
  • DoubledimasDoubledimas Member, Moderator, Mobile Tester Posts: 1,113
    Good luck Argent! I just had the same with an USB stick (which contains my dissertation amongst other things :confounded:)

    JuliusBorisov
  • argent77argent77 Member Posts: 2,645
    I'm back. Now to your questions.
    lujo said:

    Another question - did you restore the Chaosmen charm which Barking Wilder can make?

    If these are Quinn's notes it says:

    // RESTORED RAT CHARM
    // Realized this was a fix and not a restoration. Put back in Fixpack PFixPack.d in v4.0.

    But since Beamdog didn't really accept everything Quinn did, and I haven't been able to make Barking Wilder make me some of these, I wonder if they're even in. If they're not, you might consider adding them to the restored items.

    Also, if you do that, they're using the same graphic as "Trice Blind Charm" - could you please, please, please, just flip that grapihc left-to-right for the charm? Items which look exactly the same as other items in a game with a ton of items are cancerous.

    1) From what I can see the PSTEE dialog of Barking Wilder doesn't contain Qwinn's fix, which makes it more difficult to get the charm. I can probably add it to the "Restored Items" component.

    2) Graphics updates would be more suitable for a fixpack. I don't want to add fixes that are no actual restorations of cut content. I'm actually thinking about removing the additional Embalming Fluids from the mod as well, as it would also be more appropriate for a fixpack.

    JuliusBorisovlujoMirak
  • lujolujo Member Posts: 236
    edited January 2018
    Well, I reported the missing embalming fluids as an official request - there really ought to be one or two, to not pointlessly undermine the evil playthrough. EDIT: Really, it's very unfortunate that the evil option in Mochai's dialogue requires you to have that item to work, that's all there is to it.

    EDIT: And I've reported a number of much needed small graphics disambiguations for items, including the one you applied for the gorgon salve. They're not so much fixpack material as patch material, proper playtest back in the day would've had those aplied there and then.

    I got some feedback:

    1) Lothars "how rude" text floats have quotation marks which they probably shouldn't.

    2) The golem's dialogue needs more rewriting, as the part about it looking exactly like a statue looks humorous because it clearly turns around to face you when talking and such.

    3) Making one golem angry (or applying the gorgon salve) makes the other golem hostile.

    4) Sherryl's dialogue will simply need oficial rewriting, or rather editing, because it's clearly been written for an earlier version of the game, and some of the comments stick out.

    5) What's more, getting the quest from Sherryl cuts you off from the rest of her dialogue which would be better solved by Beamdog if the lines are part of the game than by modding. (basically needs a "Answer some questions" bit).

    5) The crypt itself is much better now with 3 skeletons and the entrance in the catacombs! I'd add one more skelleton myself :)

  • lujolujo Member Posts: 236
    edited January 2018
    Oh, and the Gold Ring from the Crypt has the same streff be it's identified and it's non-identified name. It's identified name should definitely be Arkin's Ring (it's name is ARKRING.ITM), except I don't know who to report this to as I don't know who made it.

  • argent77argent77 Member Posts: 2,645
    edited January 2018
    lujo said:

    I got some feedback:

    lujo said:

    1) Lothars "how rude" text floats have quotation marks which they probably shouldn't.

    That style is used by pretty much every line of floating text in the game.
    lujo said:

    2) The golem's dialogue needs more rewriting, as the part about it looking exactly like a statue looks humorous because it clearly turns around to face you when talking and such.

    I'm just looking how they made Qui-Sai (the statue guy from the Civic Festhall) behave like a statue. I'll try to imitate that behavior for the golems if possible. It's most likely just a matter of setting a simple flag.
    lujo said:

    3) Making one golem angry (or applying the gorgon salve) makes the other golem hostile.

    I couldn't reproduce making the other golem hostile by attacking or applying the salve. However, both golems will turn hostile when you open any of the containers in Lothar's home. Just unlocking a container will already draw their attention.
    lujo said:

    4) Sherryl's dialogue will simply need oficial rewriting, or rather editing, because it's clearly been written for an earlier version of the game, and some of the comments stick out.

    5) What's more, getting the quest from Sherryl cuts you off from the rest of her dialogue which would be better solved by Beamdog if the lines are part of the game than by modding. (basically needs a "Answer some questions" bit).

    It's unlikely that Beamdog will make changes to a dialog that is not used by the unmodded game, but you can certainly try. I will also take a closer look at her dialog. If there is something I can do without adding new content I will do it.
    lujo said:

    5) The crypt itself is much better now with 3 skeletons and the entrance in the catacombs! I'd add one more skelleton myself :)

    Adding even more creatures will make the tomb too crowded though. Even now there is barely room to navigate if you enter with a full party. ;)

    lujo said:

    Oh, and the Gold Ring from the Crypt has the same streff be it's identified and it's non-identified name. It's identified name should definitely be Arkin's Ring (it's name is ARKRING.ITM), except I don't know who to report this to as I don't know who made it.

    I should probably add a lore requirement to the ring, so that it has to be identified first - a very low value that anyone can meet. That way it's not immediately obvious the ring you're picking up belonged to Arkin. Unfortunately there is no explicit ring name available in the game's dialog.tlk. I could use the name from the description text though.

    lujo
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